It’s Possible to Reverse Your Sweet Tooth!
By Nikita Mishra
Death by sugar is not an overstatement. Sugar is toxic, it poses far greater dangers than cavities and love handles — science has proved it.
Sugar creates a vicious cycle of intense cravings — India is a perfect example. As a country, we continue to choke down more sugar than ever before, our annual consumption is already 13% of the total global consumption.
Breaking Your Sugar Addiction
Some scientists have a theory that human beings are designed to like all things sweet to save them from the poisonous plants and berries, which usually have a bitter taste. And the thing with sugar is that the more you have it, the more you crave for it. A kind of tolerance builds up in your body for the amount you consume.
A three-month long study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on 30 people, who had more than two sweetened beverages a day, found that the key to get rid of cravings is to slowly train your palette to prefer less sweets.
The group was asked to rate the sweetness of beverages and desserts. Half of them were then forced to lower their sugar consumption by 40% — however, they could eat and drink whatever they liked.
After three months, people went back to their regular diets but scientists monitored any changes in their sugar intake. The group which lowered the amount of sugar in the study, could not tolerate the same amount of sugar as before.
Clearly, to like a food less, you need to work the process in reverse. And notice that scientists said, “sweet” and not “sugar” — so to get rid of your sweet tooth you have to lessen the amount of both sugar and artificial sweeteners too.
Sugar Shockers- Know How Much is Too Much
Women should not eat more than 6 teaspoons of sugar every day, and men not more than 9 teaspoons, according to the American Dietary Guidelines. There are no such rules for India, but our body mass index is lesser than the Western counterparts, doctors in the country don’t recommend more than 4 teaspoons for women and 6 for men. This includes both natural and artificial forms of sugar.
If you overdose, here’s what can happen to you:
It makes your organs fat by triggering the liver to store fat more efficiently. Over time a diet high in sugar could lead to globules of fat building around the liver, often the first step of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, something which was unheard of till the 1980s.
Sugar hammers your heart: Heart disease and diabetes are related. Did you know that heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes accounting for more than 65% deaths?
It turns you into a junkie. True story. Science has well established that sugar addiction makes the same chemical changes in your brain as heroin and other hard drugs.
Sugar primes your body for diabetes: A PLoS study found that for every 150 calories from artificial sugar your risk of diabetes ups by a little more than 1%. Not a sweet deal this is! Cue sad trombone.
It creates tense blood vessels. Added sugars cause excess insulin in the bloodstream, which tense the artery walls. Now that puts you on the road to high blood pressure, and ultimately, makes a stroke or heart attack more likely.
Genuine question: We found water on Mars but still can’t figure out a way to bake a delicious cake without the goodness of sugar and fats?
The 56 Different Names of Sugar
Sugar might be sneaking in your packaged foods by these names. Know them well:
Also Read: Sorry to Ruin Your Day: Sugar is Toxic!
(This story was first published on The Quint.com.)